Are you being paid correctly for your role in the care industry?

Are you being paid correctly for your role in the care industry?

If yes, great! If not, it’s important for you to understand your entitlement to correct pay and choose a care company that values you and your time.

Misleading Employment Terms

Many adverts for care assistant roles look very appealing with high hourly rates, but it's not until you start working that you realise all is not as it seems.  

Some companies will put you through the WHOLE recruitment process only for you to find out you’re a ‘self-employed worker,’ bringing added stress. But, by this time, you’ve quit your previous job. You’re left with no other option than to continue in the role.

Other companies add enhancements to their adverts to make it look like you’re being paid more per hour. But did you know some of that money is holiday pay or travel pay, which you may be entitled to anyway?

Luckily we’re here to lift the lid on these unethical behaviours and highlight the pay you SHOULD be earning. Working in care is as demanding as it is fulfilling, and you should be compensated properly for the work you do.

Care Agency Pitfalls

Recently, we carried out some research on the leading care agencies and their employment terms. We’ve shared the results with you so that you’re well-informed.

Most of the companies we researched either haven’t done their research or assume you haven’t done yours!

Below are just a few of the pitfalls we saw crop up more than most in our analysis:

Minimum Wage and wage deductions
It’s against the law for an employer to pay less than the National Minimum Wage, but some businesses aren’t put off by this. Click here to see if you’re getting paid the legal amount.

Some companies can deduct certain items on your wage slip each month, and while some of them do not count towards the minimum wage calculation, some do.

To find out your average hourly rate all you need to do take is your gross (total BEFORE tax) pay each time you are paid and divide it by how many hours you’ve worked in that period.

You then need to look at the deductions on your pay slip and understand which items count towards the minimum wage calculation (e.g. items like uniforms, tools, training courses etc) and which are not (e.g. tax NI contribution pension and union fees).  

You’re 24 years old and not an apprentice. You’re paid weekly, work 40 hours a week and your weekly salary is £420 (before tax is taken out).

Your average hourly rate is therefore £10.50 (£420 divided by 40). This is above the minimum wage for a worker aged 24 (£10.42* per hour)

*as of April 2023

If your hourly calculation comes out less than the minimum wage, your company should be paying you a National Minimum Wage top-up payment to bring you above the threshold.

They must also resolve and backdate non-payment of minimum wage even if you no longer work for that company.

Travel time
Companies do not have to pay you for your travel time, however this is one of the biggest factors you may not be reaching the National Minimum Wage threshold as mentioned above.

You are considered to be working even when you are travelling between your customers’ homes, so when you are working out your average hourly rate, travel time needs to be included. Make sure you are only including travel time an not an official rest break.

Care Assistant Sally is 24 and works 5 days Monday to Friday she is with customers (contact time) for 8 hrs a day, travelling between her customers 2 hrs a day and commuting to her first and last customers 30 mins a day. She earns £10.42* (national minimum wage as of April 2023) per hour as per her contract. She receives £416.80 for her week's work. However, she must take into account the travel time. She cant count her commuting to her first and last call but she can count her travel time as they were not rest breaks. 

Contact time:
Travel time: 10hrs
416.80 / 50 = £8.34 per hour

As you can see, Sally is paid well below the National Minimum Wage and is entitled to a National Minimum Wage top-up payment.

Holiday Pay and Rolled-up Holiday Pay
Some companies inflate their hourly rate to attract employees, and it isn’t until later on that you find out that the hourly rate is actually a lower hourly rate plus holiday pay enhancement.

Therefore, companies are allowing you to either take the enhancement each month and then you don’t get paid for the time you are actually away.

Businesses may advertise and offer an enhanced hourly rate that is taken each month so that when you take holiday you don’t get paid. This is classed as Rolled-up Holiday pay and is not permitted – find out more about this here.

The Bluebird Care Difference

We believe that you should be paid fairly and know exactly what you are getting, especially during the current cost of living crisis. This is why we offer full transparency when it comes to pay and contracts.

Bluebird Care at Home Hourly Wage

Plus, all our Care at Home assistants receive:

  • MOT paid
  • Paid sick/compassionate leave entitlement
  • Paid DBS, Uniform, PPE, and First Aid kits
  • Enrolment in a health scheme to get money back for out-of-pocket expenses like glasses and dental appointments
  • Birthdays off
  • Paid training once employed
  • Company pension
  • Company mobile phone

Do you want to be paid fairly and rewarded for the work you do?

If so we’d like to hear from you.

Bluebird Care not only pays well but treats you with respect, supports you in your role and stands against the unethical behaviour mentioned above.

Check out our latest roles here and apply today!

Or contact us via telephone: 01903 730026 or email:

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

Contact Us